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'You Must Be Joking': Swedish Daily Mocked for Lamenting Museum Taxidermy Gender Disparity

A skewed gender balance among animals which have been stuffed and placed in museums can lead a distorted picture about the species, Dagens Nyheter, one of Sweden's largest dailies has warned, its journalistic focus sparking netizens' wide disbelief.

According to a study cited by Dagens Nyheter, there is a disturbing 'male' majority among museum taxidermies. This is especially true of birds, where the share of females is “merely” 40 percent.

Among mammals, though, the figures were almost equal, with females accounting for 48 percent, the study concluded after analysing some 2.5 million museum objects.

Nevertheless, according to Dagens Nyheter, this may lead to researchers having the “wrong picture” about certain species.

The unequal gender distribution is likely based on hunters' preferences rather than the curators' selection. Hunters tend to hunt males for several reasons: males are often regarded as more “impressive” due to their larger size and more colourful appearance, complete with prized trophies such as antlers. The imbalance may also be due to hunters avoiding females with young offspring due to legislation or ethical considerations.

On social media, many reacted strongly to Dagens Nyheter's awareness-raising piece, suggesting that it brought Sweden's fixation on gender issues and equality to the extreme.

“I can no longer hack it in year 2019. While normal people worry about increasing crime, the privileged left-wing liberals' main concern is unequal gender distribution among stuffed animals”, a user tweeted.

​“You must be joking, right?” Johan Ingerö of the Christian Democrat party tweeted. In the ensuing discussion, he also scoffed at the overly polite expression “lady animals” employed by another commentator.

​“Someone obviously has far too little to do”, Åsa Tallroth of the Citizens' Coalition party tweeted.

​“I believe the researchers are drawing some hasty conclusions here. Have they ever stopped to ask how the animals identify themselves or are they based on gender stereotypes?”, Alexandra Hedborg of the Moderate Party tweeted.

​“Next alarm by the news editor: uneven gender distribution on the poultry farm”, another user sniggered.

​Sweden has long been prioritising gender equality and women's rights, to the point that it prides itself on having “the world's first feminist government”.

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